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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED3617 Reimagining Politics: Gender, Race, and Popular Culture

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Charles Des Portes

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Module replaces

PIED3610-Feminist Challenges to Political Theory

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Are love, dancing and pop music political issues? What is politics anyway? By posing these questions, this module introduces and engages with a range of approaches and issues that have challenged state-centred, approaches to politics. In particular, it examines the ways in which a range of theoretical approaches - for instance, feminism, anti-racism, queer theory and cultural studies - have impacted upon the theory, analysis and practice of power and politics. Furthermore, it asks what it might mean to think politically about a range of topics and issues - for example, the self, gender, popular culture, sex, celebrity, dancing - traditionally seen as marginal to the discipline of political science. By the end of the module, students will have gained an understanding of debates about the nature and scope of politics and the political; an awareness of the potential importance of race, gender, identity and popular culture for understanding power and politics; and an ability to apply theories and concepts from the module for the analysis of a broad range of empirical issues.


The module aims to:

- Encourage students to think critically about the nature and scope of politics and power
- Introduce students to a range of critical perspectives and approaches to the study of power and politics (such as feminism, queer theory, anti-racism and cultural studies)
- Challenge students to think politically about a range of themes and issues traditionally seen as beyond the scope of political science
- Encourage students to reflect on the relevance of politics for understanding a range of personal and everyday issues
- Enable students to critically analyse a range of different assumptions about, and approaches to, the study of power and politics
- Encourage students to develop their written communication and critical reasoning skills

Learning outcomes
By the end of module, students will be able to

- Demonstrate an awareness of current debates about the nature and scope of politics and power
- Demonstrate a knowledge of the competing ways in which issues such as gender, race, identity and popular culture have informed competing understandings of the theory, analysis and practice of politics and power
- Critically analyse competing understandings of the nature and scope of power, politics and the political
- Apply different political theories and approaches to the analysis of a range of political, social and cultural issues
- Communicate their knowledge and analytical skills to both a specialist and non-specialist audience.


The syllabus has three parts. Part one (weeks 1-2) reflects on how politics has traditionally been understood in political science and political theory. Part two looks at key theoretical perspectives that have challenged "state-centred" understandings of power and politics (including, but not limited to, feminism, queer theory, anti-racism and cultural studies) and part three asks what it might mean to analyse politically a range of concrete issues and topics traditionally seen as beyond the scope of politics (including, but not limited to, emotion, the self, celebrity, the dancefloor). Each week in the syllabus will be titled "politicising X" (where X will be gender, race, pop culture, the dancefloor etc, depending on the week), so as to ensure thematic focus and continuity.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study


Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Given the slightly unusual nature of the essay (see below), there will be a large formative feedback element to the module. Students will be given the opportunity to submit to me at a specified point (likely week 7) up to 2000 words of work for formative feedback. This could be a plan of their essay, or a full draft of up to 50% of their essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4000 words (end of term)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Module leader to arrange submission date for the formative mid term essay.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:19:21


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